Technology trends for businesses to look out for in 2020

Technology trends for businesses to look out for in 2020

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THE tech world is one of constant change, as innovative and disruptive forms are always being developed.

This has a wider impact, with technology trends increasingly shaping the future for businesses of all kinds. Sometimes this is an internal process, such as venture capital firms buying cryptocurrencies as an investment. At other times it is an external force, like the emergence of automation, but companies will need to continue to stay on top of tech trends to thrive in 2020.

Automation on the way

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is controversial, as for every person who considers it a way for companies to save time and money, there is another who views it as a means of rendering human workers redundant. Nonetheless, automation is here to stay and will be one of the trends businesses must respond to in 2020. Companies that embrace this based on its potential to boost productivity and save time will need to train their staff to effectively use automation and may also look to what is being called ‘empathetic AI’ to ease the concerns of customers who prefer dealing with a human being. A number of business sectors – notably advertising and the service industry – are already using this. A recent Accenture study found that $957 billion of value can be added using AI, and that is not something corporations are going to ignore.

Privacy is prioritised

With so much business now conducted online, the issue of consumer privacy is growing and tech solutions to that demand will surely be another major factor this year. In the US, 2020 has seen the California User Privacy Act signed into law and the expectation of data privacy is not limited to that country. What this means is that ‘cloud’ tech solutions that prioritise data security will be an emerging force in 2020 and that more individuals will look to cryptocurrencies for financial transactions. Already banks and other businesses are starting to use cryptocurrencies in this way, because of the greater security and privacy that they offer compared to standard currencies.

How tech has affected crypto

We did not reach the point where established companies were prepared to make and receive payments using cryptocurrencies overnight. In the decade since it was first developed, there have been subtle adjustments to the protocol for Bitcoin – still the dominant cryptocurrency – that have made it more attractive to mainstream businesses. An example of this is mimblewimble, a protocol specifically focused on security and privacy improvements that works by hiding how much money is involved in any cryptocurrency transaction.

Furthermore, during 2019, banks and businesses developed new and more scalable blockchains for their transactions - among these were UAE Bank, investment firm JP Morgan and tech giant Facebook. The development of further security-based protocols and scalable blockchains would seem likely to be two of the ways tech will shape crypto this year. In turn, this could see more companies willing to follow those mentioned above in using cryptocurrencies and blockchains for sending and receiving money.

Automation and privacy will be two of the biggest issues for companies in 2020, and those that are able to exploit the potential of tech solutions to address consumer concerns will enjoy the benefits.